Water is vital for any mammal. It helps to keep the organism healthy and its lack causes serious harm to the individual. Like humans, cats are subject to dehydration, which happens when there is an excessive loss of water from the body, along with electrolytes (minerals) important for maintaining health, such as sodium and potassium.
Thus, a dehydrated cat needs help quickly to reverse this situation. In this post we present the main causes of dehydration, how to identify this problem and how to take care of your kitten. Good reading!
CAUSES OF DEHYDRATION IN CATS
The cat is an animal that tends to have kidney problems, often due to lack of stimulation, which contributes to various diseases and dehydration.
Because it has different causes, dehydration is considered a symptom of another disease . There are several factors that can cause it, such as:
- little water intake: many cats don’t drink water, because the place is dirty or with standing water, so buy a drinker and encourage the kitty to ingest fresh water;
- confinement in a place without water: it is obvious that any animal will become thirsty and later dehydrated when left in an environment without water;
- Vomiting and Diarrhea: A cat that is vomiting or has diarrhea loses fluid quickly, which increases the chances of dehydration.
- fever and heatstroke: on hot days, the cat’s organism tends to release more fluids to regulate its temperature, so be careful that the pet is not exposed to the sun for too long and seek a veterinarian if its temperature is higher than 39 Ç;
- burns, injuries and illnesses: can cause dehydration.
In view of this, it is essential to identify the dehydrated cat and seek urgent treatment to avoid complications.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A DEHYDRATED CAT
The dehydrated cat does not eat well and stops drinking water as it used to. With that, he gets weak and loses a lot of nutrients. That way, the kitty doesn’t have the energy to play, much less to do everyday activities, like eating.
A practical tip for identifying a dehydrated cat is to carefully pull the skin on the back of the neck and let go. If the skin takes a long time to come back and is wrinkled, this is a sign of dehydration.
Check out other main symptoms of dehydration in cats:
- wrinkled skin;
- sticky, dry gums;
- loss of appetite ;
- increased heart rate;
- “sunken”, opaque and sleepy eyes;
- constipation and difficulty urinating.
When the cat is dehydrated, it is common for him to have rapid and short breaths because of the higher heart rate. This leaves the pet with more fatigue. His eyes are sunken, sleepy looking, and he has trouble urinating and defecating.
These signs change depending on the severity of the situation. In any case, the accurate diagnosis will be made by a veterinarian, so look for a clinic urgently and take the cat for a consultation, which will prevent the evolution of this scenario.
The veterinarian will observe the cat’s physical and behavioral symptoms and may order a blood test in addition to other tests.
THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF YOUR CAT
Dehydration can evolve quickly, so the first step, after noticing that your cat is not well, is to take it to the vet. It is this professional who will know which is the best treatment for your pet.
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There are several treatments, such as subcutaneous fluids (with electrolytes such as calcium, potassium and sodium), which are inserted within minutes under the cat’s skin, as well as intravenous fluids, administered into the bloodstream.
You also need to identify and treat the cause of dehydration, such as an intestinal infection, gastritis, and diabetes.
In addition to taking him to the vet, you can take care of your little friend at home by offering fresh water and wet food. Let the pet eat and drink gradually to avoid vomiting and discomfort.
Fresh water is more attractive to the kitty. Have you ever noticed that just turn on a faucet and the cat is interested? Well, if the cat manages to drink water on its own, preferably leave a source of water nearby.
Another issue to be highlighted is that the dehydrated cat tends to eat less. Prefer to offer moist and soft food, such as a wet food with salmon broth or canned tuna.
Also keep the place clean and leave the food bowl further away from the drinker.
HOW TO PREVENT FELINE DEHYDRATION
Water intake depends on several factors, such as the size and age of the cat, in addition to its diet. Therefore, encourage the cat to drink water, especially on hot days.
Leave the water bowl with running water away from the cat’s food, as the smell can prevent it from ingesting the liquid. This goes for the sandbox as well.
Also keep the fountain away from sunny and windy places, as a simple dust in the water does not encourage the cat to drink from it. Prefer a larger font , as the cat may be uncomfortable touching the water with its whiskers.
Finally, take the cat to the vet as often as possible to check its health condition.